I reviewed this book some time ago here, but now I’d like to share some of my favorite insights. This really is my favorite book that I’ve read so far in 2014. Please take that comment seriously. I encourage you to pick up a copy of Facing Leviathan by Mark Sayers.
Here are 20 quotes from this book:
1. “While we may have an aversion to leadership and organization, we still wish to influence, to effect change, and to create meaning. Technological advances like social networking have given us the impression that we can now have influence minus responsibility, leadership, and organization” (16).
2. “Technology and science had now, in the minds of many replaced the need for God” (49).
3. “The society of the spectacle is a culture built upon illusion, distraction, and entertainment, which runs from the inevitable storms of human sinfulness, injustice, and brokenness. The society of the spectacle attempts to protect itself from discomfort and pain” (60).
4. “In times of great untruth, God will call leadership to be his heralds of truth” (68).
5. “Before the leader can save, he first must be saved. Before he can speak God’s Word, he must encounter the Word” (70).
6. “The hero, like the leader with unresolved issues poses a threat” (105).
7. “There is a line that can be unwittingly crossed today when it comes to understanding what it is to lead. We can start to forget where our message begins and where we end. We can forget that we are communicating the gospel and end up broadcasting ourselves” (109).
8. “Yet when it becomes the norm to let everyone know the nice things people are saying about us versus the messages we create for the Kingdom, then we have a cultural problem” (111-12).
9. “Emptiness seeks out thrills and excitement to escape the mundane” (119).
10. “When leaders die to pushing their own agendas and realize that leadership is the act of dying to self, those around them are profoundly transformed. Selfless leadership opens a space for God to flow into” (125).
11. “Leadership is not in the possession of particular skills, traits, or personal attributes. It is primarily in the ability to command a non-anxious persona in an anxious environment” (134).
12. “Leadership power comes not from what I am doing but what He is doing inside of me” (137).
13. “We can devise all kinds of theories, read all the right books, engage in online debate, blog our opinions, yet the whole time be disconnected from actually having skin in the game. Even when our heart is for God’s kingdom, if we are not careful we can find ourselves critiquing from the sidelines of God’s activity within history. There is a world of difference between pundits and prophets” (157).
14. “Traditionally, expert have believed that the decline of marriage and the family follows after the decline of active Christian faith” (175).
15. “Our society of the spectacle reduced people to images. It turned its back upon a foundational biblical truth: when we encounter another, we encounter the image of God” (193).
16. “Biblical leadership is so much more than just leading people. The biblical leader is a symbol who lives at the intersection of God’s breaking into history, into life. The leader can never be distant from God, His Word, or the world” (194).
17. “A revolution has begun. God had defeated chaos. Leviathan was beaten. God had taken the chaos and sin that exists in the human heart upon himself” (200).
18. “In a world in which individual pleasure is everything, in which pain is avoided, the biblical leader with eyes upon the cross walks hand in hand with God into suffering and pain” (208).
19. “In a culture that is increasingly fragmentary, episodic, and confused, the biblical leader acknowledges a sweeping cosmic drama, a narrative that binds together the universe” (209).
20. “God takes His servants through storms to teach them how to prepare for battle … To do this, however, we need leaders, influencers, and creatives who have met Him in the storm” (216).